The New Jersey Devils had chances to take a lead in the first two periods of Game 1 against the New York Rangers, but were consistently denied by Henrik Lundqvist. The more rested Devils looked very much like the fresher team in the first two periods, but there was nothing slow about Lundqvist's play. The teams headed into the second intermission tied 0-0, and it felt like the Devils had wasted their chances to get one over on their rivals at Madison Square Garden.
New York came out with a different attitude and tenacity to start the third period and took the lead just 53 seconds in. That changed the game's momentum completely and the Rangers were in control for the rest of the game, scoring twice more in their 3-0 victory.
Momentum shifts like Girardi's goal are likely to define Game 2 and the rest of the series. Both teams have experienced goalies in net and both teams are fantastic at blocking shots. Goals will be hard to come by and both teams are excellent at defending leads, so the Devils might have to score first to produce a better result in Game 2 and take a split across the Hudson River.
No. 6 New Jersey Devils at No. 3 New York Rangers
8:00 p.m. ET -- Game 2, Eastern Conference Finals | Rangers lead, 1-0
National TV: NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS
SB Nation New York will have coverage from both sides throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. For all news and information regarding the New York Rangers, please visit Blueshirt Banter. For updates and perspective on the New Jersey Devils, head on over to In Lou We Trust. For complete coverage of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.